Understanding the impact of high-speed rail (HSR) services on spatial distributions of population and employment is important for planning and policy concerning HSR station location as well as a wide range of complementary spatial, transportation, and urban planning initiatives. Previous research, however, has yielded mixed results into the extent of this impact and a number of influential factors rarely have been controlled for during assessment. This study aims to address this gap by controlling for socioeconomic and transportation characteristics in evaluating the spatial impacts of HSR (including station placement) at multiple spatial levels to assess overall impact across metropolitan areas. The Taiwan HSR is used for this empirical study. Research methods include descriptive statistics, multilevel analysis, and multiple regression analysis. Findings conclude that HSR-based towns, on average, may experience growing population and employment, but HSR-based counties are likely to experience relatively less growth of employment in the tertiary sector. HSR stations located in urban or suburban settings may have a more significant spatial impact. This differential in spatial change may be attributed to a high concentration of some subsectors and transportation services in the study area. Policy implications include adopting policies that encourage higher density at the local level, considering rural areas as a last choice for the installation of new HSR stations, and the use of HSR station placement to initiate brownfield urban regeneration in the urban core.
Journal of Transport and Land Use, Vol.13, No.1, pp.317-341